BANGKOK, Thailand -- Thai inmate Samson Sor Siriporn
boosted her chances of freedom by beating Japan's Ayaka Miyano
to win the vacant women's WBC light flyweight title at the
notorious "Bangkok Hilton" prison on Tuesday.
Under the gaze of dozens of prison guards, Siriporn, a
convicted drug dealer, battled through the unforgiving Thai
heat to score a unanimous victory on points and kick-start parole
proceedings for her early release.
"I've been in jail for a long time now, I hope this will see
me released early," said Siriporn, flanked by guards and surrounded by photographers. "When I'm free I'll carry on fighting. I want to fight all
over the world."
Fighting in a makeshift ring in the grounds of the infamous
Klong Prem prison with the Thai crowd chanting "fight, fight,"
Siriporn was on the attack from the start and repeatedly forced
Miyano on to the ropes with a barrage of punches.
The intense afternoon heat took its toll on Miyano, who
twice fell to the canvas as a result of Siriporn's relentless
Siriporn's sparring partners also watched the fight, while
transvestites in high heels and skimpy outfits were
allowed out of their cells to parade around the ring with
placards at the beginning of each round.
Siriporn fended off a Miyano comeback in the penultimate
round to outpoint her opponent 97-93, 98-92, 100-91 and become
the first prisoner to win a world boxing title.
"I'm so happy with the way I performed today," she said.
"I'm very proud."
Siriporn, 24, was jailed seven years ago for selling
methamphetamine pills and took up boxing to pass the time and to
protect herself from violent inmates.
Thai corrections department chief Natti Jitsawang said
Siriporn's criminal days were over and her victory would likely
see her freed three years early.
"We will start the process for her parole immediately,"
Natti told reporters just moments after the fight.
"I think it's very likely she will be released as a result
of this victory, maybe in a couple of months. We gave her a
chance to show us her talent, and she has done that.
He added: "She is a changed woman, and now she has the
chance to be free and fight around the world."